An ornamental groundcover escaping cultivation and now sparingly naturalized. First documented as naturalized in 1958, it is becoming a pest on Kauaʻi, Oahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi Island. Native to tropical Africa, trailing tibouchina is a dominant weed in Australia and is considered a pest on other Pacific Islands.
Description and Dispersal:
- A creeping herb with the stems rooting at nodes and erect branches up to 7 in tall
- Velvety leaves ( 1-3 in long by 0.5-1 in wide) have 3 prominent veins and short reddish hairs
- Single bright purple flowers (2 in wide) with 5 pedals grow throughout ground cover; small round seeds
- Spreads with seeds and vegetatively from pieces